for this game

Lee wins 20th as Indians blank White Sox

Sep 2, 2008 - 3:26 AM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Cliff Lee ended one of baseball's longest droughts in style.

The talented lefthander tossed a five-hit shutout to become the major league's first 20-game winner as the Cleveland Indians recorded a 5-0 triumph over the Chicago White Sox on Monday.

Lee (20-2) struck out four and didn't walk a batter to notch both his second shutout and fourth complete game of the season.

"I am glad I got it over with the first try," Lee said. "It's a good feeling, especially going the whole game without giving up any runs. It was nice to do it that way. Everything I threw was working for me."

"That was very impressive," catcher Kelly Shoppach said of his batterymate. "I just had to return the ball to him."

Lee is the 25th Indians pitcher to win 20 games - and the first since Gaylord Perry went 21-13 in 1974. The 34-year streak was the longest in the majors among non-expansion teams.

"It has a nice ring to it," Lee said. "I like the sound of it. It's nice to get it behind me and not have to worry about answering questions about Gaylord Perry."

"I'm happy for him and for the Indians," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "It has been a long time since an individual has won 20 games. Winning 20 games is one of the toughest things to do in baseball right now, with the five man rotations and the use of the bullpens."

Lee would receive all the offense he would need in the second as Shin-Soo Choo, who had three hits, had an run-scoring single. Ben Francisco followed with an RBI single in the third to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.

Shoppach and Asdrubal Cabrera added RBI doubles in the fourth off of starter Clayton Richard (2-3), who allowed four runs - three earned - on six hits in only four innings to snap his two-game winning streak.

As for Lee, it didn't look like it would be his night early as he allowed singles to the first two hitters, but the 30-year-old struck out Carlos Quentin and Jermaine Dye lined into a double play to start a string of 21 straight batters retired.

"We got to him early and had an opportunity," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Then he shut us down, just dominated us. That's the best I have seen him throw against us."

"After that, things went pretty smooth," Lee said.

Until the ninth.

Lee sprinted out to the mound to start the ninth, but Joe Crede and Orlando Cabrera started the frame with consecutive singles. But Lee, like he did in the fist got out of the jam as A.J. Pierzynski flied out and Quentin bounced into a double play.

As Lee walked toward Shoppach after the game, he and Pierzynski were seen staring and chirping at each other - something that Lee said started after Pierzynski's pop out in the fourth.

"The last out, he's still looking at me," Pierzynski said. "I don't know what caused it. He pitched a great game."

"After (Pierzynski's) second AB, he stared at me and I stared back," Lee said. "It gave me a little extra energy. I appreciate that. He gave me a little edge."

Lee hasn't needed an extra edge all season. He started the season strong and seems to be finishing stronger. He won his first six decisions before losing on May 18 to the Cincinnati Reds. His last loss came on July 6 at Minnesota and the lefthander hasn't looked back since winning his last nine decisions in 10 starts.

In addition, Lee lowered his ERA to 2.32 - best in the majors. He has allowed two earned runs or less in 21 of his 27 starts this season.

"All his starts have all been pretty much the same," Shoppach said. "We haven't asked him to do anything more than give us a chance to win the game and he has done that and then some."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
    CLEVELAND 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 x 5 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHA - CLAYTON RICHARD, EHREN WASSERMANN (5TH), BOONE LOGAN (6TH),
    MIKE MACDOUGAL (7TH), ADAM RUSSELL (8TH) AND A.J. PIERZYNSKI
    CLE - CLIFF LEE AND KELLY SHOPPACH



    Sep 1 9:33 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    White Sox 0, Indians 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 1 9:06 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ASDRUBAL CABRERA SCORED KELLY SHOPPACH.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A CABRERA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 0
    CLEVELAND 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: G SIZEMORE (.271, 0-FOR-2)

    White Sox 0, Indians 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 1 8:13 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BEN FRANCISCO SCORED GRADY SIZEMORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B FRANCISCO ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 0
    CLEVELAND 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J PERALTA (.278, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    White Sox 0, Indians 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 1 7:54 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SHIN-SOO CHOO SCORED JHONNY PERALTA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S CHOO ON FIRST, R GARKO ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 0
    CLEVELAND 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: F GUTIERREZ (.234, 8 HR, 35 RBI)

    White Sox 0, Indians 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 1 7:34 PM